Reno 2011 — The Senate Ethics Committee says it will complete its investigation into Nevada Senator John Ensign despite his resignation. However the committee cannot take disciplinary action against Ensign once he is no longer a senator, but could issue a statement on Ensign’s behavior and even recommend a criminal investigation.
As recently as last month, Ensign said he would stay in office because he had not violated ethics rules, saying he has done nothing wrong. Ensign has been the target of a two-year ethics probe stemming from his extramarital affair with a former staffer and allegations he helped the woman’s husband find lobbying work.
An ethics committee official claims that neither a vote nor a public hearing had been scheduled in the Ensign investigation prior to his announcement. Ensign, however, cited “wear and tear” on himself and his family during his resignation announcement.
Now, Governor Brian Sandoval says he’ll name Ensign’s successor within two weeks — before Ensign’s May 3 departure from the U.S. Senate. Nevada law allows the governor to name a successor at any time. Sandoval isn’t commenting on his selection process.
He’s widely expected to name Congressman Dean Heller, who he already endorsed in the 2012 contest to replace Ensign. Heller also has the support of both the national and state GOP. This merely speculation on the part of the media.
What should be looked into is — who has what else on Ensign and when and where will it be exposed — and why?